House Money – Second Quarter

Now that the second quarter 2022 financial disclosure reports are public, we can research the available data to detect patterns.

A total of 36 House members and congressional candidates raised over $1 million during the second quarter alone. Of the 36, a total of 31 are incumbents, leaving just five individuals reaching this financial plateau from the open seat or challenger category.

Not surprisingly, four of the 36 are in party leadership but it is unexpected that only one, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, comes from the Democratic side. The other leaders breaking $1 million in fundraising for the second quarter were House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA), and Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik* (R-NY).

Overall, 21 Democrats are in the second quarter million-dollar club along with 15 Republicans. A bit surprisingly, only 22 of the 36 are in competitive races. This means at least seven incumbents who are heavily favored for re-election and not a member of their party’s leadership team obtained amounts that placed them among the top national fundraisers.

The cash-on-hand status is interesting. Four sitting members, surprisingly none of whom are in leadership, manage campaign accounts in excess of $10 million. The leader is southern California Rep. Katie Porter (D-Irvine) who holds $19.8 million in anticipation of what looked to be a competitive race at the beginning of the cycle.

So far, however, the Republicans under-performed in the primary vote and come nowhere near Ms. Porter’s fundraising prowess. Scott Baugh, the former GOP state Assemblyman who advanced into the general election, has raised $1.7 million for the campaign, reports $1.15 million cash-on-hand, but raised only $449,000 in the second quarter.

Another well-known California Congressman, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank), holds $19.5 million in his account. The other two holding over $10 million are Reps. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) with $14.0 million and Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) at $12.7 million.

Virtually all of the top fundraisers in competitive races have far more in the cash-on-hand column than the amount they raised during the second quarter. The only exceptions to that ratio are those who just came through competitive primaries or special elections, such as newly-elected Rep. Mayra Flores (R-TX).

Within the top fundraising group are two sets of direct opponents. In the Wyoming at-large Republican primary to be decided on August 16, incumbent Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wilson), trailing badly in the polls, raised $6.96 million and had just under $3 million in her campaign account at the June 30 deadline. Her opponent, attorney Harriet Hageman, who former President Donald Trump endorses, raised just under $1.8 million and had $1.4 million in her account at the reporting deadline.

The greatest disparity in money raised versus cash-on-hand comes in northwest Georgia. Here, Army veteran Marcus Flowers, who had little in the way of Democratic primary opposition in May, raised a whopping $3.6 million in the second quarter and over $10.5 million for his entire campaign effort against Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Rome) in the Peach State’s District 14. Yet, with all of that income, Mr. Flowers only reported having $872,000 cash-on-hand at the June 30 deadline. Clearly this is the widest fundraising to remaining cash ratio on the national board.

For her part, Rep. Greene raised $1.8 million for the quarter, has $2.6 million remaining in her account, and has obtained $10.9 million for the entire campaign. For Rep. Greene, in a district that the FiveThirtyEight data organization rates as R+45, winning the Republican primary was the bigger challenge.

In general, this is another banner fundraising election cycle in which nominees from both parties in competitive US House campaigns will have adequate funding with which to communicate their message. Adding the extra millions of dollars that will flood into contested districts from outside organizations means the voting public will be well educated about their respective congressional choices. 

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